Biker Girl

3 Thu, 2011 § 8 Comments

Eisley was having such a difficult time adjusting to me working full time, I decided I needed to find someone to check in on her during the days she is alone.  Rather than having someone simply let her out & give her a little attention, we thought a run a couple times a week would do her good.  She’s big energy in a little package after all.   After taking her for a short evaluation run, our guy from Marathon Dogs said a short run might not be enough & suggested we let him try biking with her.  She has been on a few trails with us while mountain biking, but had never run on leash next to the bike.  After promising he would be very careful & patient with her, I consented.

Yesterday was her first run!  She did great & one of the wonderful things about Marathon Dogs is he sends a follow up email immediately following the run to let us know how it went.  I love this.  He started her off slowly, just walking next to the bike until she was really comfortable with it.  She took to it right away; soon he was pedaling, & she was running!  He was even able to tell me her mileage & preferred & top pace.

She was still as excited & energetic as ever when we got home…so much for an exhausted puppy. 😉  He will be increasing her run time throughout their following sessions.  I hope she is having fun.

[She was not nearly this tuckered out; this old photo makes me anxious for summer & miss climbing in American Fork Canyon in Utah.]

[photo by David Finch]

Because her skin is thin, the harness has a tendency to chafe when she runs.  I need to find an Iggy-specific harness, fully padded on the straps.  Any recommendations?

Eisley got her workout in, so Dave & I decided to do something short before dinner — it was my turn to make it up.  I was not going to share this because I was not thrilled with it, but I am hoping you can help me.  I really like the concept of no rests, alternating between the lower body wall sits & an upper body or core exercise.  However, this was not challenging enough.  Don’t get me wrong — 8 minutes worth of wall sits seriously burned toward the end; the in-between exercises were not hard enough though.

We did 2 sets:

  • Wall Sit – 60 seconds
  • Pike Press – 30 seconds
  • Wall Sit – 60 seconds
  • Seated Bicycle – 30 seconds
  • Wall Sit – 60 seconds
  • Hanging Knee Raises – 30 seconds
  • Wall Sit – 60 seconds
  • Tricep exercise – 30 seconds [Dave did Dips; I did Tricep Push Ups]

I like the tricep push ups & hanging knee raises, though I could have gone for 1 minute.  30 seconds just didn’t seem long enough for any of the workouts, so I could increase the time or do a set # of reps rather than a specific time.  I am actually thinking doing each to fatigue would be the way to go.  Thoughts?  Oh, & how can I make the pike press/push ups more challenging?  I switched to one-leg which seemed pretty good.  I realize I could just do a more standard push up, but I like rotating pike presses into my workouts because they work a different aspect of the shoulder.

Since we did not feel worked enough, we finished up with extra sets of these workouts & played around with some others.  Dave likes to make up challenges — & he invented the best tricep partner exercise!  We may have to find a way to record it on video though, rather than try to explain.

Finally it was time for dinner.

Deconstructed Baked Potatoes

I love trying to deconstruct dishes recently — breaking down components to develop & rethink the flavor of each ingredient, like enhancing these simple potatoes with fancy lavender salt.  We also topped the roasted, red potatoes with tempeh [me], real [Dave] bacon, chives & added a big dollop of Greek yogurt.  I was never a huge fan of sour cream on my potatoes, but the yogurt was extremely satisfying & cooling with the potatoes & herbs.

p.s. The first time I tried Fage Greek Yogurt, I accidentally bought 2% rather than non-fat & never looked back.  I already feel guilty having dairy, & since the craving usually only hits every three weeks or so, I make sure it’s worth it. 😉


Your yogurt: is it full fat or fat free?

Do you run or bike with your dog?  Do you have a great, padded harness you can recommend?

Please, help me with this workout!

Snow Dog

28 Mon, 2011 § 3 Comments

Sunday was a lazy lonely day.  I woke to snow falling, which didn’t cease until several inches more lay on the ground.

Saturday I climbed at the gym & intended to be active again yesterday, but movies, lounging & knitting [& re-knitting] made up much of my day until Dave gently coaxed me over the phone into taking a hike.

Trudging through a good foot-&-a-half to two feet of snow is generally not my idea of a good time, & I soon considered retreating.  Eisley’s “crazy dog”-sprints back & forth made me laugh & the fresh air invigorated me, so there was no turning back just yet.  The photographer in me even hibernated.  I just wanted to enjoy being out with Eis.

[An older photo of Eisley [not-so-much] enjoying the snow]

She coaxed me straight up the steep hill into the woods though there is a perfectly good trail that meanders more gradually.  This perfectly good trail waaas hidden by the snow, offering us a blank canvas.  Though her route might not have been my first choice, I had to follow her child-like excitement as we broke first tracks.  She charged halfway up the hill, turned & looked as if to say, “hurry, follow me, mom!”  When I met her, she even pounced at me playfully.  Everyone should be blessed with this type of companionship.

Eisley does not always love the snow, but yesterday she sprang, dashed & rolled in the white powder.

I do not always love the snow either, but I guess it is growing on both of us.

p.s. Guess who will be home today?!!  Expect next post to be short & sweet. 😉


Do you like playing in the snow?


11 Fri, 2011 § 9 Comments

This was the number on the scale yesterday.

A beautiful sight!

This means Eisley has gained about 1.5 pounds in just short of two weeks!  I have started to decrease her hefty calorie portions, & today she didn’t finish her breakfast; this seems to be a good sign we are finding a healthy weight & food portions for her.  Other than Monday, we have all had a much less stressful week; Eisley was able to go to work with Dave twice this week, which really helped.  Hopefully she will be ok home alone today.  I am looking for someone to check in on her during the day a couple times a week as well as hoping to be able to bring her to work with us a couple days.  We will find a system that works & keeps everyone happy!

[photo by David Finch]

Another beautiful sight made my morning: a small herd of elk!  Four, majestic cows wandered through the field [ok, golf course] across the street while we waited for the bus.  It certainly made the cold slightly more bearable to see these creatures move so gracefully & powerfully through the morning haze.  Elk are my favorite wild animal, & I have really wanted to go hiking through the woods lately in hopes of spotting them; guess I just needed to go to the golf course! 😀


I did not feel like working out at 5:30 this morning, but I pushed through & am glad I did.  I also brought my bike in on the bus to run errands after work — it was 6*F this morning — I was not biking all the way from home in 6 degrees.  My already frozen face & fingers thank me.


6 rounds = 4 minutes each exercise: 10 seconds rest; 30 second maximum effort intervals

  • Burpees ~ 6 – 6 – 6 – 6 – 5 – 5
  • Pistol Squats, alternating left then right ~ 7 – 8 – 7 – 9 – 8.5 – 9
  • Ninja Jump Tucks ~ 6 – 6 – 5 – 5 – 6 – 5
  • Hanging Knee Raises ~ 11 – 10 – 11 – 11 – 10 – 10

Track your reps so you can push harder each time & gauge improvements in strength, agility & endurance.

Happy Friday!


Do you see wild animals often where you live?

A Little Worried

2 Wed, 2011 § 9 Comments

Yesterday was rough.  I nearly froze walking to/from work, I missed the bus home 😦 & was welcomed by a lovely accident Eisley left on the spare bathroom [fortunately hard] floor near the toilet…it was as if she knew.

Dave is amazing & offered to take on cleanup duty while I walked the naughty girl.  Honestly, we are not going to [fully]blame her.  We recently [meaning yesterday], increased her calorie intake by quite a significant amount because she has been losing weight — even though I feed her just over the recommended serving.  Could I really expect her tummy not to be upset while it adjusts to the increased digestion?  Was it reasonable to think she could hold it 8 hours?

Apparently not.

I learned; so this morning I was up at 5am walking her so she could do her business, eat then do her business again at 7am before we left.  Phew!  Cross your fingers with me.

[David Finch]

She is still adorable.

At her checkup on Monday, I learned she has lost nearly 2 pounds since we moved!!  Already a tiny, wiry little thing, every pound is vital.  Guess she has a metabolism like her dad. 😉  We will increase her calorie intake for a couple weeks to see if that helps; otherwise, we will have to draw blood to test for deficiencies. 😦  I feel like such a bad mommy.  I promise I am not starving my girl.


Have you ever had a pet lose weight?  What do you feed your dog?  [We have been using EVO]

First Day

6 Thu, 2011 § 6 Comments

First day in years I have done the 8 to 5 thing.  [aw, I did love the flexibility of sports massage.]

First day Eisley has been home alone all day, ever.

Good news: no accidents!

Bad news: the kiddie gate was futile.

We gated off the kitchen area to make sure she could “hold it” all day.  I am sure she jumped it about 30 seconds after we walked out the door.

Hopefully, we can find a neighbor to check in on her.  I hated leaving her all day.

I missed my Eis.

I am already looking forward to the weekend, but it was a good first day of training.  We have a lot of fun things planned Saturday & Sunday, but I also need to cook & plan for the work week & get some fun posts & recipes ready!


Pet parents out there, what do you do with your babies while you are at work?

Any tips for planning/prepping those work week lunches?  [Man! How do you 9-to-5ers do it?]


19 Fri, 2010 § 4 Comments

Playing outdoors often means packing & hauling quite a bit of gear around.  Bouldering: crash pads, chalk buckets, climbing shoes, Klean Kanteens, guide book, etc.   Mountain biking: bikes, camelback, water, tools, etc.

Whether we are climbing, backpacking, camping…hauling around heavy — or even light — bowls for Eisley is simply not efficient.

Our girl must have water though, & as perfect as Dave’s large hands work for a makeshift drinking bowl, we’ve found another solution to the problem of carrying bulky items.

This Pet Bowlz by Fozzils unsnaps to flat & is extremely lightweight.  It easily slides/packs for all of our outdoor excursions.  The set is great for trips as well; rather than packing heavy bowls from home, she simply ate her meals from these when visiting family or while camping.  Honestly, as we are moving around & trying to simplify/reduce our “stuff”, these have become her permanent “bowlz”.

  • Ultra Lightweight
  • Packs Flat
  • Sturdy
  • Easy to Clean
  • Bright Colors easy to See [even in dim lighting = good for camping]

Nearly every time we are out, we comment how glad we are Dave found these at the Black Diamond Store; I think they were ~$16 – $20.  I believe you can find these at REI as well as other outdoor retailers.

Another snappy solution we’ve come to love while playing hard?

A means to hold our rings.

After seeing Natalie’s brilliant tip for protecting wedding bands while lifting weights,

I thought I’d share what we do with ours while climbing.

This nifty, spring-locking clasp hangs from our key chain as the perfect ring holder.  I think they came from a couple crazy little Cootie key chains I had — do you remember Cooties?!  So fun!

Now I’m not sure how to tie this next bit in with the “snap” concept…oh wait —

Harrummph [clearing my throat] —

I used to be bewildered & intimidated by bean burger recipes.  I thought it had to be tricky to create just the right consistency to hold the burgers together.  You know what?  They are a snap.  😉

Tuesday evening rolled around, pasta was on the menu; & it just sounded too heavy.  We wanted something lighter, like salads, but with a nice bit of protein & some texture.

A can of black beans called out, & I decided to just go for it & make my own burger creation.

Slightly crunchy on the outside, moist & soft on the inside — these were tasty. I’ll definitely be experimenting with burger creations more!  Maybe I’ll try adding actual olives next time.

Olive Black Bean Burgers

makes 4 burgers

Preheat oven to 350*F.

  • ~1/3 C bread crumbs, toasted [toast bread before tearing into crumbs]

[any bread will do, but the olive artisan loaf we used added a nice flavor]

  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp corriander
  • ½ tsp garlic powder [or 1 clove fresh garlic]
  • ½ tsp onion powder [~2T fresh onion, chopped]
  • substantial dash of red pepper flakes
  • dash dried parsley
  • salt & pepper to taste

In a food processor, process bread crumbs & seasonings to combine.

  • 1 can black beans, drained [~1 heaping cup]
  • 1 tsp EVOO

Add beans & oil to processor & pulse until coarsely chopped, leaving the beans somewhat chunky.  Don’t over-process, or you might get mush.

  • 1 flax”egg” [whisk 1T ground flaxseed with 3T warm water & let sit ~10minutes]

Add to processor & pulse a couple times until just combined.

Roll into 4 balls & flatten onto a lightly oiled baking sheet.

Bake at 350*F for ~20 minutes per side [~40minutes total].


How do you keep your rings safe & prevent losing a finger while working out or playing hard?

Team Summer or Team Fall?

8 Wed, 2010 § 2 Comments

I am all about sunshine & bright blue skies.  Because I freeze E.A.S.I.L.Y, 80-90 degree days suit me just fine for the most part.  Flip flops, tank tops, sun-kissed hair & golden skin.  Who doesn’t love Summer?

Suddenly, a longing is creeping over me; I find myself craving winter squash, home-made bread & long walks in the cool air, haloed by red & golden leaves.  Cozy sweaters, pretty scarves & fun hats.  I cannot help but love Fall…

…until I step out the door for Eisley’s morning walk & a freezing chill attacks my body; then I long for Summer to stay just a little longer.

Honestly, I truly love these transitional moments in Mother Earth’s cycle.  Many of her bounty is at its peak now, but an approaching quietness can also be sensed.  My own body & mind still feel the go-go-go of Summer but have begun a battle of “laziness” as well.  Even my appetite is torn between Autumn heartiness & the light fair of Summer.

So I caved…more than once in the past couple weeks…& have been enjoying pumpkin in everything from VOO Parfaits to Green Monsters to banana-scramble sandwiches [eyebrow raise].

Eisley loves both banana & pumpkin.  I love both banana & pumpkin.  Why can we not love them together?

Pumpkin is actually really good for dog’s digestion.

It is not half bad for people either 😉  Rich in antioxidants & beta-carotene, pumpkin is an extremely nutrient-dense food.  It is low in fat & calories; high in potassium & contains amounts of niacin, vitamin E, calcium & iron worthy of mentioning.  Don’t forget the seeds!  Also known as pepitas, they are high in essential amino acids & zinc, as well as iron, protein & fiber.  Not bad at all so eat up!

I loved my banana-pumpkin combo in a slightly different way than Eisley ;).

With a fork, mash together about [I do not often measure]:

3 T Thick-Rolled Oats

2 T Rice or Almond Milk

half a Banana

1 T Pumpkin puree

½ tsp cinnamon, ¼ tsp nutmeg, ¼ tsp ginger

a dash of maple would also be good

You want it to be thick so it holds together for the most part.

  1. Heat coconut oil in a pan over medium heat.
  2. Add mixture to the pan & flatten slightly.
  3. Cook until slightly browned ~3-5 minutes
  4. Flip & brown other side.  [Do not stress if it falls apart; just “scramble” & enjoy]
  5. Plop onto your favorite toasted bread

[mine: WF’s in-house Seeduction loaf, lightly broiled]

My Banana-kin Scramble Sandwich stayed safe & warm in its tinfoil home during the bike commute to work,

where it was gobbled up between clients.  Mmm.


Whose team are you on?  Team Fall or Team Summer?

Is Yours a “Chewer”?

23 Mon, 2010 § 1 Comment

Nearly every dog I have known has gone or is going though a chewing “phase”, devouring every thing in sight or at least constantly gnawing on something they shouldn’t be.

Knock on wood, but we either seriously lucked out or did something right.

Let’s assume the latter.  😉

Crate Training & Limited Roam-ability

We adopted Eisley at 5 months & immediately began “crate training”; though extremely difficult — more so on me than her — it proved to be a great approach in several ways.  One being she never had a chance to simply roam & lay claim upon the entire house; when she was out of her crate, she was always with me.  Keeping her within arms reach — or at least eye sight — made it possible for me to immediately interfer — or better yet prevent through distraction — undesirable behaviors.

Few Toys Lay About

Actually, only one.  Meet Hubert.

She knows where her toys are kept, how to ask for them & occasionally can streeeetch up to snatch one.  In order to get one of her toys, she has to perform a command such as “sit” [the one of main focus], “paw”, “down”, “spin”, etc.   Seem mean?  She never tires of these toys, left to search for something of more interest.  She also understands we are her source of “chewy & play things”.  Like all dogs, she thrives off of the attention she gets during this exchange.

We Trade

If she ever started to investigate or nibble on an off-limit item, I would gently, yet sternly, tell her “No”, then “Trade” her for a favorite, appropriate toy.  See why it is important she does not bore of these?

True Attention

Eisley gets oodles of attention, whether playing or just hanging out.  Because she is not neglected, ignored or left to her own devices, she does not need to seek attention through “bad dog” behaviors or find means of entertaining herself [i.e. more “bad dog” behaviors].  We also only play fetch, tug-o-war & such upstairs in the bedroom, so she has learned everywhere else in the house is a spot to be calm & content.


Some dogs are simply prone to chewing & getting into things & require extreme measures, but I would like to think our approach helped instill good behaviors.  We have never had a major incident, & I cannot recall the last time she even seemed to think about going for Dave’ slipper.  In fact, Bodhi [our cat] is more prone to eat my stuff; but that is a completely different topic.  Although, a couple weeks ago, she did snag something Bodhi had knocked onto the floor.  I turned to see her playing with a salt water taffy from Dave’s stash.  Can you blame her?  🙂

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